A dream showdown between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the US Open 2017 semi-finals could not take shape, thanks to Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine tennis star, often referred to as a giant killer, took just four sets to defeat the legendary Federer in the last round.
Not many are aware that it was Del Potro who even knocked Nadal out of the US Open tournament, back in 2009, in the semifinals stage as well.
Are we set to witness history again on Friday September 8...or is Nadal prepared enough to exact revenge on the 28-year-old Del Potro, in exactly the same stage of the US Open, eight years later. The Argentine trails 5-8 against the Spaniard in the overall head to head record, but fact remains that Del Potro defeated Nadal in their previous two meetings, in 2016 and 2013.
"Sport is not that difficult. The player who plays better that day is the player that is going to have better chances," mentioned Nadal with a philosophical approach ahead of the match. "Then there are small adjustments, if you can do it, yes. But the most important thing is to play at my best level.
"If I play at my best level, I believe I'm going to have my chances against everybody."
Del Potro, on his part, hopes to be at the prime of his physical fitness during the match.
"Physically I'm not in the perfect conditions, but when you play semi-finals on the Grand Slam, everything can happen," said the Argentine. "So you must be ready for the chance and playing against Rafa in my favourite tournament, I will try to enjoy the atmosphere, the game, and I know if I play my best tennis, I could be a danger for him.
"He's a lefty guy, so he has chance to find easily my backhand. So I don't know what's going to be my strategy for that match. But for sure I will try to make winners with my forehands and don't run too much, because my legs are tired."
Many are tipping this match to be the US Open 2017 final...as the winner of this enters the all-important match at the Flushing Meadows on Sunday as huge favourites.
Relatively unknowns but highly-rated tennis stars -- Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta and Kevin Anderson of South Africa -- clash swords in the other men's semifinal match of the day on Saturday.
Nadal vs Del Potro: Match schedule
- Date: September 8
- Time: Approx 6 pm EST (3:30 am IST - Saturday)
- Court: Arthur Ashe
Where to watch live
INDIA: TV - Star Sports Select 1/HD. Live streaming: Hotstar
UK, Rest of Europe: TV: Eurosport. Live streaming: Eurosport Player
USA: TV: ESPN, ESPN 2. Live streaming: Watch ESPN, Tennis Channel
Live score: Twitter.